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5 linfócitos t 5 linfócitos t Document Transcript

  • REVIEWS Expanding roles for CD4+ T cells in immunity to viruses Susan L. Swain, K. Kai McKinstry and Tara M. Strutt Abstract | Viral pathogens often induce strong effector CD4+ T cell responses that are best known for their ability to help B cell and CD8+ T cell responses. However, recent studies have uncovered additional roles for CD4+ T cells, some of which are independent of other lymphocytes, and have described previously unappreciated functions for memory CD4+ T cells in immunity to viruses. Here, we review the full range of antiviral functions of CD4+ T cells, discussing the activities of these cells in helping other lymphocytes and in inducing innate immune responses, as well as their direct antiviral roles. We suggest that all of these functions of CD4+ T cells are integrated to provide highly effective immune protection against viral pathogens. Viruses can enter the body by diverse routes, infect almost memory CD8+ T cell populations. Recent studies havePattern-recognitionreceptors every type of host cell and mutate to avoid immune defined additional roles for CD4+ T cells in enhancing(PRRs). Host receptors that can recognition. Destroying rapidly dividing viruses effi- innate immune responses and in mediating non-helperdetect pathogen-associated ciently requires the coordination of multiple immune antiviral effector functions. We discuss what is knownmolecular patterns and effector mechanisms. At the earliest stages of infection, about the T cell subsets that develop following acuteinitiate signalling cascades,leading to an innate immune innate immune mechanisms are initiated in response viral infection and how different subsets contributeresponse. Examples include to the binding of pathogens to pattern-recognition recep- to viral control and clearance.Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and tors (PRRs), and this stimulates the antiviral activities of Following a rapid and effective antiviral response,NOD-like receptors (NLRs). innate immune cells to provide a crucial initial block on infection is resolved and the majority of effector CD4+PRRs can be membrane-bound viral replication. Innate immune responses then mobi- T cells die, leaving a much smaller population of memoryreceptors (as in the case ofTLRs) or soluble cytoplasmic lize cells of the adaptive immune system, which develop CD4+ T cells that persists long-term3,4. Memory CD4+receptors (as in the case of into effector cells that promote viral clearance. T cells have unique functional attributes and respondNLRs, retinoic acid-inducible Activation through PRRs causes professional antigen- more rapidly and effectively during viral re-infection.gene I (RIG‑I) and melanoma presenting cells (APCs) to upregulate co-stimulatory A better understanding of the functions of memorydifferentiation-associatedprotein 5 (MDA5)). molecules and promotes the migration of these cells to CD4+ T cells will allow us to evaluate their potential con- secondary lymphoid organs. Here, they present virus- tribution to immunity when they are induced by either derived peptides on MHC class II molecules to naive infection or vaccination. We describe the antiviral roles CD4+ T cells and deliver co-stimulatory signals, thereby of CD4+ T cells during the first encounter with a virus driving T cell activation. The activated CD4 + T cells and also following re-infection. undergo extensive cell division and differentiation, giv- ing rise to distinct subsets of effector T cells (BOX 1). The Generation of antiviral CD4+ T cells best characterized of these are T helper 1 (TH1) and TH2 To develop into effector populations that combat viral cells, which are characterized by their production of infections, naive CD4+ T cells need to recognize pep- interferon‑γ (IFNγ) and interleukin‑4 (IL‑4), respec- tide antigens presented by MHC class II molecules onDepartment of Pathology, tively 1. Specialized B cell helpers, known as follicular activated APCs. PRR-mediated signalling activatesUniversity of Massachusetts helper T (TFH) cells, and the pro-inflammatory TH17 cell APCs to upregulate their expression of MHC class IIMedical School, 55 LakeAvenue N, Worcester, subset also develop, along with regulatory T (TReg) cells, molecules, co-stimulatory molecules (such as CD80Massachusetts 01655, USA. which are essential for avoiding over-exuberant immune and CD86) and pro-inflammatory cytokines (suchCorrespondence to S.L.S. responses and associated immunopathology 2. as type I IFNs, tumour necrosis factor (TNF), IL‑1,e‑mail: A key role of CD4 + T  cells is to ensure optimal IL‑6 and IL‑12)5. When the activated APCs migrate toSusan.Swain@umassmed.edudoi:10.1038/nri3152 responses by other lymphocytes. CD4+ T cells are neces- draining lymph nodes, they prime naive virus-specificPublished online sary as helpers to promote B cell antibody production CD4+ T cells, which then differentiate into antiviral20 January 2012 and are often required for the generation of cytotoxic and effectors (FIG. 1). The priming environment can vary136 | FEBRUARY 2012 | VOLUME 12 www.nature.com/reviews/immunol © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
  • REVIEWS Box 1 | Subsetting CD4+ T cell responses based on TH cell polarization Following recognition of a specific antigen presented by an appropriately activated antigen-presenting cell, naive CD4+ T cells undergo several rounds of division and can become polarized into distinct effector T helper (TH) cell subsets that differentially orchestrate protective immune responses (see the figure). The differentiation of polarized effector T cells is controlled by unique sets of transcription factors, the expression of which is determined by multiple signals but particularly by soluble factors that act on responding CD4+ T cells during their activation. The elucidation of the crucial cytokines that govern the differentiation of distinct TH cell subsets has allowed researchers to examine the protective capacities of differently polarized CD4+ T cell subsets in several models of infectious disease. Although the production of the signature cytokines interferon‑γ (IFNγ), interleukin‑4 (IL‑4) and IL‑17 is routinely used to assign subsets (TH1, TH2 and TH17, respectively) to responding CD4+ T cells, it is increasingly clear that considerable plasticity exists within TH cell subsets in vivo, especially during responses to pathogens. Moreover, certain cytokines (for example, IL‑10) can be produced by subpopulations of cells within multiple effector subsets. Finally, the successful clearance of viral pathogens in particular often depends on complex CD4+ T cell responses that encompass multiple TH cell subsets. Together, these T cell subsets are capable of mediating direct antiviral functions, of providing help for B cells, of regulating immunopathology and of mediating cytotoxic killing of virus-infected cells. CD4+ T cells with cytotoxic activity have been described in several models of viral disease as well as in the clinic. Following re-stimulation, memory CD4+ T cells retain their previous effector functions and rapidly produce effector cytokines. This property of primed CD4+ T cells represents a key advantage of the memory state. Certain TH cell subsets — including follicular helper T (TFH) cells and regulatory T (TReg) cells — are often defined less by their cytokine profile and more by their functional attributes. Further studies will be required to determine whether populations of CD4+ T cells with specialized functions can include cytokine-polarized cells from several subsets. BCL‑6, B cell lymphoma 6; EOMES, eomesodermin, FASL, FAS ligand; FOXP3, forkhead box P3; GATA3, GATA-binding protein 3; RORγt, retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor-γt; TCR, T cell receptor; TGFβ, transforming growth factor-β; TNF, tumour necrosis factor. CD4 TCR Naive CD4+ T cell Polarizing IL-2, IL-6, IL-6, IL-12, mileu TGFβ TGFβ IL-4 IL-21 IFNγ IL-2 FOXP3 RORγt GATA3 BCL-6 T-bet EOMES Induced TReg cell TH17 cell TH2 cell TFH cell TH1 cell Cytolytic CD4+ T cell Effector IL-10 IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-4, IL-5, IL-13 IL-4, IL-21 IFNγ, TNF Granzyme B, mediators IL-22 perforin, FASL Regulation, Inflammation Allergic and Germinal Macrophage Killing of Effector suppression of helminth centre help activation, infected cells functions inflammatory responses inflammation responses Nature Reviews | Immunology dramatically during different viral infections and is Effector TH cell subsets in viral infectionT-bet influenced by many variables, including the route of In contrast to TH cell populations that are generatedA member of the T‑box family infection, the viral dose and the organ or cell types in vitro, effector T cells that are found in vivo are oftenof transcription factors. T-betis a master switch in the targeted. As has been extensively reviewed elsewhere, characterized by plasticity and heterogeneity in termsdevelopment of T helper 1 (TH1) the extent of T cell proliferation and the determina- of their cytokine-producing potential. Nevertheless,cell responses through its ability tion of T cell subset specialization are affected by the the CD4+ T cells that are generated in response to viralto regulate the expression of specific subset of APCs that is activated6,7, the antigen infection mainly have a TH1‑type phenotype and pro-the interleukin‑12 receptor,inhibit signals that promote TH2 load and the duration of antigen presentation8, and duce large amounts of IFNγ and express T‑bet. Thiscell development and promote the patterns and amounts of cytokines produced by phenotype classically depends on the exposure ofthe production of interferon‑γ. different APCs9. T cells to high levels of IL‑12, type I IFNs and IFNγ inNATURE REVIEWS | IMMUNOLOGY VOLUME 12 | FEBRUARY 2012 | 137 © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
  • REVIEWS characterized by high levels of IFNγ production and Virus diminished IL‑4 production. Interestingly, most IFNγ- producing cells in the TH1/TH2 cell population co- APCs take up viruses produced IL‑4 or IL‑13, and IL‑12 and type I IFNs were Processed viral or virus-infected shown to drive this mixed TH1/TH2 cell phenotype14. peptides APC cells and are In vivo, IL‑12 can also reprogramme in vitro-polarized activated via PRRs TH17 cells to a TH1‑type phenotype15,16. MHC class II Originally, it was thought that IL‑4‑producing TH2 Virus-derived CD80 or CD86 cells were needed to drive optimal humoral immune peptide TCR CD28 responses. Thus, the predominance of TH1 cells over TH2 cells during viral infection was somewhat surpris- APCs migrate to ing, given the important role of neutralizing antibodies Naive CD4+ draining lymph in viral clearance and in providing long-term immunity nodes and present T cell viral peptides to to re-infection. However, adoptive transfer of either TH1 CD4+ T cells cells or TH2 cells was shown to provide efficient help for the generation of neutralizing antiviral IgG responses17,18. The signature TH1‑type cytokine, IFNγ, enhances IgG2a class switching, and this explains why IgG2a is usually the CD4+ T cell activation, polarization dominant isotype in IgG responses generated against and population expansion viruses19. In fact, several studies have found that, far from promoting antiviral responses, TH2 cell-associated media-Cytokines tors (and IL‑4 in particular) have a strong negative impact Type I IFNs TGFβ IL-4 TGFβin primingenvironment IL-12 IL-6 on immune protection and drive immuno­ athology p during infection with many viruses, including influenza virus20,21, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)22, herpes TH2 cell simplex virus (HSV)23 and vaccinia virus24. Instead, it is TH1 cell now clear that IL‑4‑producing TFH cells provide much of the help required for IgG1 production (see below). TH17 cell TReg cell The roles of TH17‑type effector responses during viral infection are not well understood, but virus-specific IFNγ IL-17A IL-4 IL-10 IL‑17‑producing CD4+ T cells have been detected inEffectorcytokines TNF IL-17F IL-5 mice following infection with mouse cytomegalovirus IL-22 IL-13 (MCMV)25, HSV26, vaccinia virus27, Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus28 or influenza virus16, although at levels lower than those of TH1 cells. The generation Effector T cells migrate of polarized TH17 cells during viral infection has been to infected tissue correlated with high levels of IL‑6 and may also be influenced by transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ)28.Figure 1 | Generation of antiviral effector CD4+ T cells. The crucial initial stepsin generating primary antiviral T cell responses are the uptake of viral antigens by TH17 cells are implicated in driving harmful inflamma- Nature Reviews | Immunologyantigen-presenting cells (APCs) in infected tissue, the activation of APCs by pattern- tion during autoimmunity, and IL‑17 may contributerecognition receptor (PRR) ligation, and the migration of these cells to draining lymph to immunopathology during responses against viruses,nodes. The nature of the viral infection, as well as PRR ligation, can influence the as demonstrated in studies using influenza virus oractivation status of antigen-bearing APCs and the T helper (TH) cell-polarizing vaccinia virus27,29. However, in some cases, TH17 cellsenvironment. The recognition of antigens on activated APCs by naive T cells during viral contribute to host protection against viruses16. One pro-infection predominately results in the generation of TH1 cells owing to the presence of tective mechanism mediated by TH17 cells might be thetype I interferons (IFNs) and interleukin‑12 (IL‑12). However, TH17, TH2 and regulatory T promotion of enhanced neutrophil responses at sites(TReg) cell populations are also generated to some degree in certain viral infections. of infection. IL‑17 upregulates CXC-chemokines thatTCR, T cell receptor; TGFβ, transforming growth factor-β; TNF, tumour necrosis factor. promote neutrophil recruitment 30, and neutrophils can contribute to protection against certain viruses, includ- ing influenza virus31. We expect that other roles for the priming milieu10, although TH1 cell responses are TH17 cells will be identified in future studies, as TH17 generated in response to certain viruses independently cells often produce significant levels of IL‑21 and IL‑22 of IL‑12 or type I IFNs11–13, suggesting that other fac- in addition to IL‑17 (REF. 16). Although not extensively tors can also contribute to TH1 cell polarization. IL‑12 studied in viral systems, IL‑22 production by TH17 and type I IFNs promote TH1 cell differentiation both cells could be involved in regulating the expression of directly and indirectly (by repressing the development defensins, and could also play an important part in tissue of other TH cell subsets), and can even influence effector repair (reviewed in REF. 32). IL‑21 production may also T cells that are already polarized. For example, polar- regulate aspects of the innate immune response during ized TH2 cells that were transferred to hosts infected viral infection. Moreover, IL‑21 is involved in sustaining with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) CD8+ T cell responses during chronic viral infection, as acquired a mixed TH1/TH2 cell phenotype, which was discussed below.138 | FEBRUARY 2012 | VOLUME 12 www.nature.com/reviews/immunol © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved View slide
  • REVIEWS Roles of CD4+ T cells during primary infection be important for germinal centre formation34, and ICOS Although the best-studied pathways of CD4+ T cell- expression is required for optimal induction of humoral mediated help are those that promote antibody produc- responses against LCMV, VSV and influenza virus47. tion by B cells, CD4+ T cells also enhance effector CD8+ The roles during viral infection of other co-stimulatory T cell responses during certain viral infections and con- molecules expressed by TFH cells are less clear. For exam- tribute to the maintenance of a functional memory CD8+ ple, OX40‑deficient mice generate normal levels of T cell pool (FIG. 2). Furthermore, effector CD4+ T cells class-switched antibodies during infection with LCMV, regulate the inflammatory response and can directly VSV or influenza virus48. Further studies are required to mediate viral clearance. determine the importance of additional signals that pass between TFH cells and B cells in generating protective CD4+ T cell-mediated help for B cells. Current licensed antibody responses during viral infection. vaccines directed against viral pathogens are evaluated almost exclusively on their ability to generate strong CD4+ T cell-mediated help for CD8+ T cells. The mecha- neutralizing antibody responses. Antibody-mediated nisms by which CD4+ T cells promote CD8+ T cell effec- protection can be extraordinarily long-lived 33, and tor and memory responses are less well understood than neutralizing antibodies present at the time of patho- B cell help. As in B cell help, CD40L–CD40 interactions gen encounter can prevent rather than combat infec- between CD4+ T cells and APCs are crucial (FIG. 2). One tion, thereby achieving ‘sterilizing’ immunity. Thus, possible mechanism — the ‘licensing’ of APCs by CD4+ it is crucial to understand the mechanisms by which T cells — may be of only minor importance during CD4+ T cells help B cells during viral infection in order viral infection, as APCs can be activated effectively by to define what is required for effective vaccination viruses through PRRs49,50, thus obviating the need for (FIG. 2a). CD4+ T cells that enter B cell follicles and pro- this process50–52. However, it is unclear whether APCs vide help to B cells, resulting in germinal centre forma- that are activated directly through PRRs are functionally tion, are now referred to as TFH cells. The generation similar to those licensed by CD4+ T cells53. An absence and functions of TFH cells have been expertly reviewed of CD4+ T cells has been shown to compromise the elsewhere34,35, so we focus only on the roles of these generation of primary cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) cells during viral infection. responses against vaccinia virus54 and HSV55 (and influ- Following viral infection, the expression of SLAM- enza virus in some, but not all, studies56–58), suggest- associated protein (SAP) by TFH cells is necessary to ing that the two modes of APC activation are distinct. direct the formation of germinal centres 36,37, where Whether CD4+ T cell-mediated help is required for the TFH cells promote the generation of B cell memory and generation of optimal antiviral CD8+ T cell responsesClass switching long-lived antibody-producing plasma cells36,38. Thus, probably depends on which elements of the innateThe process by which TFH cells are likely to be important for generating long- immune response are triggered following infectionproliferating B cells rearrange lived antibody responses and protective immunity to by a virus and to what extent. For example, the strongtheir DNA to switch from most, if not all, viruses. Indeed, CD4+ T cells have been type I IFN response that is induced by administration ofexpressing the heavy-chain shown to be required for the generation of optimal anti- polyinosinic–polycytidylic acid (polyI:C) can bypassconstant region of IgM(or another class of body responses following infection with coronavirus39, the otherwise obligate requirement for CD4+ T cell-immunoglobulin) to vaccinia virus40, yellow fever virus41 or vesicular sto- mediated help in the generation of CD8+ T cell responsesexpressing that of a different matitis virus (VSV)42. It is not yet clear how distinct following vaccinia virus infection59.immunoglobulin class, thereby cytokine-polarized CD4+ T cell subsets influence the It is not clear whether different TH cell subsets haveproducing antibodies withdifferent effector functions. The B cell response during primary viral infection. One distinct roles in helping CD8+ T cells. During the pri-decision of which isotype to possibility is that distinct TH cell subsets, such as TH1, mary response, the licensing of APCs by CD4+ T cellsgenerate is strongly influenced TH2 and TH17 cells, can each develop into TFH cells and probably occurs before the full polarization of effec-by the specific cytokine milieu provide efficient help for B cells. This hypothesis is tor CD4+ T cells, but fully polarized T H cells mightand by other cells, such as supported by a recent study demonstrating that such also promote efficient CD8+ T cell responses againstT helper cells. polarized subsets can be reprogrammed to express TFH viral pathogens through mechanisms other than APCGerminal centre cell characteristics in vitro43. As different TH cell sub- licensing. For example, chemokines produced followingA highly specialized and sets have been associated with distinct antibody class- antigen-specific interactions between APCs and CD4+dynamic microenvironment switching responses, the broad range of protective anti- T cells can actively attract CD8+ T cells to the activatedthat gives rise to secondaryB cell follicles during an body isotypes that is often found in individuals with APCs60, and CD40L–CD40 interactions between CD4+immune response. Germinal immunity to a virus favours such a model. T cells and APCs can protect APCs from CTL‑mediatedcentres are the main site of Several co-stimulatory ligands expressed by CD4+ death 61 , perhaps leading to more-efficient CD8 +B cell maturation, which leads T cells contribute to the promotion of B cell activation T cell priming.to the generation of memory and antibody production. One notable ligand is CD40 In addition, CD4+ T cells facilitate the develop-B cells and plasma cells thatproduce high-affinity ligand (CD40L). Interactions between CD40 (which is ment of functional, pathogen-specific memory CD8+antibodies. expressed on B cells) and CD40L (which is expressed on T cells that can respond following re-infection51,52,62,63. activated CD4+ T cells) are crucial for generating opti- One mechanism by which CD4+ T cells promote thisPolyinosinic–polycytidylic mal humoral responses against several viral pathogens, process involves the downregulation of TNF-relatedacid(PolyI:C). A substance that is including LCMV, Pichinde virus, VSV, HSV and influ- apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) expression onused as a mimic of viral enza virus44–46. The expression of inducible T cell co- responding CD8+ T cells (FIG. 2). It is thought that CD8+double-stranded RNA. stimulator (ICOS) by TFH cells has also been shown to T cells that are helped by CD4+ T cells downregulateNATURE REVIEWS | IMMUNOLOGY VOLUME 12 | FEBRUARY 2012 | 139 © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved View slide
  • REVIEWS b T cell helpa B cell help MHC class II MHC class I Virus CD70 Virus-derived BCR peptide Virus-derived peptide CD40 CD8 CD40L CD4 TCR TCR CD40 CD40L CD27 Virus-derived peptide MHC class II TCR CD40 CD40L ICOSL ICOS B cell TFH cell CD8+ T cell TH cell OX40L OX40 IL-2, IL-4, IL-21, IFNγ IL-2 BCR CD8+ T cells proliferate and Germinal centre migrate to B cell formation, isotype infected tissue switching, affinity maturation Cytotoxic Virus-infected cell CD8+ T cell CD8 Cytotoxic Production of CD8+ T cells Plasma cell neutralizing kill infected antibodies cells TCR MHC class I Virus Perforin, Antibody granzymes Memory Contraction of effector CD8+ T cell T cell population to TRAIL– memory population Figure 2 | Helper functions of CD4+ T cells. a | The canonical function of CD4+ T cells is the provision of help for B cells in germinal centre formation, isotype switching and affinity maturation of antibody responses.Nature Reviews | Immunology Follicular helper T (TFH) cells are a specialized subset of CD4+ T cells that provide help to B cells through both cell–cell interactions (most notably CD40L– CD40 interactions) and the release of cytokines. The generation of neutralizing antibodies is a crucial component of protection against many viral pathogens and the goal of most vaccine strategies. b | The best-characterized pathway of CD4+ T cell-mediated help in the generation of CD8+ T cell effectors involves the provision of interleukin‑2 (IL‑2) and the activation, known as ‘licensing’, of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) via CD40L–CD40 interactions. It is often unclear whether CD4+ T cell-mediated help has a role in the initial generation of antiviral CD8+ T cell effector responses, presumably because viruses can trigger pattern-recognition receptors and independently activate APCs. However, a clear role for CD4+ T cell-mediated help in the generation of functional memory CD8+ T cells has been demonstrated during viral infection. Downregulation of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) expression on CD8+ T cells is a prominent feature of CD8+ T cells that have been helped and at least in part facilitates their robust recall response during secondary infection. BCR, B cell receptor; ICOS, inducible T cell co-stimulator; ICOSL, ICOS ligand; TCR, T cell receptor; TH, T helper.140 | FEBRUARY 2012 | VOLUME 12 www.nature.com/reviews/immunol © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
  • REVIEWS TRAIL expression and become less susceptible 64, or through direct cytolytic activity 78,81,82,87,92 mediated by have delayed susceptibility 65, to TRAIL-mediated apop­ both perforin and FAS (also known as CD95)84,86 (FIG. 3). tosis. By contrast, CD8+ T cells that have not been helped Cytotoxic CD4+ T cells have also been observed following undergo enhanced TRAIL-mediated apoptosis follow- infection with LCMV93. ing antigen re-exposure. CD4+ T cell-mediated help The cytotoxic activity of CD4+ T cell effectors does also controls the expression of other molecules. For not depend on TH1 cell polarization94, and expression of example, CD4+ T cells downregulate the expression of the transcription factor eomesodermin, but not T‑bet, programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1) on CD8+ T cells, may be crucial in driving the development of cytotoxic and this can enhance the function of pathogen-specific CD4+ T cells in vivo95. Thus, CD4+ T cells with cytotoxic memory CD8+ T cells66–68. activity could be considered a separate functional T cell CD4+ T cells may promote the generation of effec- subset. The fact that MHC class II expression is largely tor and memory CD8+ T cell populations through many restricted to professional APCs under steady-state condi- possible pathways. One such pathway involves enhanc- tions may limit the protective potential of virus-specific ing the APC-mediated production of cytokines that cytotoxic CD4+ T cells. However, cells other than pro- augment initial CD8+ T cell responses; these cytokines fessional APCs are capable of upregulating MHC class II include IL‑1, IL‑6, TNF and IL‑15 (REF. 69). Paracrine IL‑2 expression following pathogen challenge and could produced by CD4+ T cells during the initial priming of therefore become targets of cytotoxic CD4+ T cells during CD8+ T cells in LCMV infection dramatically improves viral infection. For example, epithelial cells that are acti- the CD8+ T cell recall response potential70. Furthermore, vated by infection96 or IFNγ-mediated signals97 strongly CD4+ T cells have been shown to upregulate the expres- upregulate their expression of MHC class II molecules. sion of CD25 (also known as IL‑2Rα) on CD8+ T cells Although immune protection mediated by cyto- during infection with vaccinia virus or VSV71. At later toxic CD4+ T cells requires direct recognition of virus- stages of the response, CD4+ T cells produce additional infected cells, soluble factors released by other effector cytokines, such as IL‑21, which appears to be a crucial CD4+ T cells can act more broadly. For example, IFNγ signal for downregulating TRAIL expression on CD8+ can promote the establishment of an antiviral state in T cells responding to vaccinia virus72. Finally, evidence surrounding tissue and can also activate several innate suggests that direct ligation of CD40 on naive CD8+ immune cell populations, most notably macrophages, to T cells by CD40L on CD4+ T cells can enhance the mediate antiviral activity 98. Thus, effector CD4+ T cells generation of memory CD8+ T cells73 (FIG. 2). that migrate to infected tissues probably promote viral CD4+ T cells seem to be particularly important for clearance through both cytotoxic and cytokine-dependent maintaining memory CD8+ T cell populations74, and the mechanisms. presence of CD4+ T cells during priming may influence the homing pattern and, ultimately, the tissue distribu- Immunoregulation by effector CD4+ T cells tion of memory CD8+ T cells75. Whereas a specialized Effector CD4+ T cells are capable of potent immuno­ T cell subset (namely, TFH cells) provides help for B cells, regulation at sites of infection. A subset of TH1 cells has no analogous helper subset for CD8+ T cells has been been found to transiently produce both IFNγ and IL‑10 identified to date. Defining the conditions that lead to at the peak of the effector CD4+ T cell response in many the generation of CD4+ T cells with potent CD8+ T cell models of infectious disease99. Several signals have been helper activity could be important for developing better found to stimulate the generation of IL‑10‑producing vaccines against several viral pathogens. effector CD4+ T cells, including high levels of antigen, soluble factors such as IL‑12 and IL‑27, and co-stimulatory More than just lymphocyte helpers signals such as ICOS (reviewed in REF. 99). IL‑10 is a pleio- In addition to activating cells of the innate immune sys- tropic cytokine that is most often associated with anti- tem and providing potent help to promote the functions inflammatory or inhibitory functions (FIG. 3). The impact of B cells and CD8+ T cells during viral infection, CD4+ of IL‑10 production by effector CD4+ T cells is compli- T cells develop into populations of effector T cells that cated and can be variable, especially in situations in which migrate to sites of infection76. Accumulating evidence strong immune responses (which are capable of serious suggests that effector CD4+ T cells have potent protective immunopathology) are required to eliminate a rapidly roles during viral infection that are independent of their replicating pathogen. For instance, the absence of IL‑10 helper activities. Strong immune protection mediated during influenza virus infection can lead, on the one hand, by CD4+ T cells has been described in animal models to improved host survival, owing to enhanced T cell16 of infection by rotavirus77, Sendai virus78,79, gamma- and antibody 100 responses, but also, on the other hand, to herpesviruses80,81, West Nile virus (WNV)82, HSV83,84, exacerbated inflammation and immunopathology, which influenza virus85,86, dengue virus87, Venezuelan equine result in increased mortality101. Similarly, ablating Il10 has encephalitis virus88, coronavirus89, VSV90 and Friend been found to enhance protection against WNV102 and virus91,92. In many cases, the direct protective mechanism vaccinia virus103, but to cause increased pathology follow- used by CD4+ T cells has not been defined. However, ing infection with RSV104 and death following infection effector CD4+ T cells have, in general, been shown to with mouse hepatitis virus105 or coronavirus106. Finally, as protect against viral pathogens through two distinct well as producing IL‑10 themselves, effector CD4+ T cells mechanisms: first, through the production of cytokines, can also promote IL‑10 production by effector CD8+ most notably IFNγ and TNF81,82,85,87,89,90,92; and second, T cells during viral infection107.NATURE REVIEWS | IMMUNOLOGY VOLUME 12 | FEBRUARY 2012 | 141 © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
  • REVIEWSa Activation of APCs b Induction of an antiviral state c Killing of virus-infected cells Virus CD80 or CD28 CD86 Virus-infected CD4+ cell effector APC T cell TRAILR TCR MHC Virus- IL-10 FAS class II derived peptide FASL IFNγ, Chemokines TNF TRAIL Perforin and IFNγ, TNF CD4+ granzyme B Cytotoxic effector CD4+ T cell CD8+ T cell T cell γδ T cell NK cell Neutrophil • Cognate recognition of antigens • Cognate recognition of antigens • Cognate recognition of antigens on on tissue-resident APCs on infected cells (for example, infected cells expressing MHC class II • Release of effector cytokines lung epithelial cells in influenza) • Release of cytotoxic effector • Activation of tissue-resident APCs • Release of effector cytokines molecules and/or ligation of • Release of pro-inflammatory • Induction of an antiviral state in death-inducing surface ligands mediators that recruit innate and surrounding cells • Death of the virus-infected adaptive immune cells surrounding cells Figure 3 | Antiviral functions of CD4+ T cells that are independent of their lymphocyte helper functions. a | After migrating to sites of infection, effector CD4+ T cells that recognize antigens on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) Nature Reviews | Immunology produce an array of effector cytokines that contribute to the character of the inflammatory responses in the tissue. Some products of highly activated effector CD4+ T cells, such as interleukin‑10 (IL‑10), dampen inflammation and regulate immunopathology, whereas others, such as interferon‑γ (IFNγ), are pro-inflammatory and activate macrophages, which in turn drive further inflammation. The production of IL‑10 by effector CD4+ T cells can have a profound impact on the outcome of a viral infection. b | IFNγ, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and other cytokines produced by CD4+ T cells help to coordinate an antiviral state in infected tissues. c | Cytotoxic CD4+ T cells can directly lyse infected cells through diverse mechanisms, including FAS-dependent and perforin-dependent killing. FASL, FAS ligand; NK, natural killer; TCR, T cell receptor; TRAIL, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand; TRAILR, TRAIL receptor. Regulatory CD4+ T cells although how induced TReg cells affect viral infection is Increased frequencies of CD4+ TReg cells (of both the not yet well understood. For example, some viral patho- forkhead box P3 (FOXP3)+ and FOXP3– populations) gens may promote the development of TReg cell popula- have been observed in numerous human and animal tions to limit the host antiviral response. Evidence for studies of viral infection. Most studies that have assessed this hypothesis has been found in several models, mainly the impact of TReg cells during viral infection have con- of chronic viral infection112,113. In acute viral infection, centrated on models of chronic infection. In such set- which has not been studied as fully as chronic infection, tings, TReg cells have been found, depending on the TReg cells have been shown to limit pathology during particular pathogen, to have both beneficial roles, such infection with WNV114 or RSV115,116 and in a model of as limiting collateral tissue damage, and detrimental influenza A virus infection117. A detailed account of TReg roles, including diminishing the overall magnitude of cell induction and responses during viral infection is antiviral immune responses108. The antigen specificity available elsewhere118. of TReg cells in the context of infectious disease has not been addressed often, but it is likely that TReg cell popula- CD4+ T cells and chronic viral infection tions contain at least some virus-specific cells and that Compared with our understanding of CD8+ T cells119, these populations are generated in concert with antiviral much less is known about how chronic infection affects effector T cell responses. Indeed, this has recently been CD4+ T cell phenotype and function. However, the shown in a coronavirus infection model109. The accumu­ impact of persistent viral infection on CD4+ T cell func- lation of virus-specific FOXP3+ TReg cells during viral tion and the importance of CD4+ T cells during chronic infection could be due to the expansion of pre-existing viral infection are receiving increasing attention. During populations of thymus-derived ‘natural’ TReg cells that persistent infection with LCMV clone 13, responding are specific for viral antigens, or could also reflect the CD4+ T cells lose the ability to produce TH1‑type effec- de novo generation of ‘induced’ TReg cells from naive tor cytokines and to function optimally following viral virus-specific CD4+ T cells. An important factor in the rechallenge120. The loss of function of CD4 + T cells generation of induced TReg cells appears to be TGFβ110,111, responding to persistent antigen is probably driven by142 | FEBRUARY 2012 | VOLUME 12 www.nature.com/reviews/immunol © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
  • REVIEWS Box 2 | CD4+ T cell help for CD8+ T cells during chronic viral infection Memory CD4+ T cell responses against viruses Following the resolution of infection, or after successful The best-characterized function of CD4+ T cells during persistent viral infection is the vaccination, most virus-specific effector CD4+ T cells die. maintenance of competent CD8+ T cells that retain robust effector functions long-term153. This leaves a small population of memory T cells, which Although this has been most-rigorously studied in models of lymphocytic choriomeningitis ensures that the frequency of virus-specific T cells is virus (LCMV) infection, CD4+ T cells have also been found to affect CD8+ T cell responses to varying degrees in other models of chronic infection, including mouse greater than it was before priming. The population of cytomegalovirus154, mouse polyomavirus155 and gammaherpesvirus156 infection. Recent CD4+ memory T cells diminishes with time and may studies using LCMV infection suggest that interleukin‑21 (IL‑21) production by CD4+ require boosting. It is unclear which responding effector T cells during chronic infection is crucial for maintaining functional CD8+ T cells that are CD4+ T cells make the transition to a memory pheno- able to contain the infection157–159. Importantly, clinical evidence also correlates the type, but a recent study suggests that those with lower presence of higher numbers of IL‑21‑producing CD4+ T cells with improved CD8+ T cell expression of LY6C and T‑bet have a greater potential function and improved control of HIV infection160,161. These observations suggest new to do so129. A quantitative gain in antigen-specific cells avenues that could improve vaccination strategies and adoptive transfer therapies162 represents one important advantage of the memory state, through the generation of CD4+ T cell populations specifically geared towards the but memory T cells also differ from naive T cells by provision of maximal help in the context of chronic infection. broad functional criteria. Compared with naive T cells, memory CD4+ T cells respond much faster, respond to high levels of antigen following the priming phase121 lower antigen doses, require less co-stimulation and and seems not to be regulated by the intrinsic changes proliferate more vigorously following pathogen chal- in APCs that are caused by chronic viral pathogens120. lenge130. In addition, subpopulations of memory CD4+ Chronic infection may not lead to irreversible exhaus- T cells have wider trafficking patterns and some are tion of responding CD4+ T cells. For example, function- retained at or near sites of previous infection131, and this ally impaired CD4+ T cells have been observed in patients contributes to their ability to be rapidly activated follow- with HIV, and treatment with antibodies that stimulate ing local re-infection. Tissue tropism and/or retention CD28 (REF. 122), block T cell immunoglobulin domain of tissue-resident memory CD4+ T cells may depend on and mucin domain protein 3 (TIM3)123 or block PD1 specific interactions between adhesion molecules and signalling 124 dramatically increased the proliferative their receptors (BOX 3). potential of these T cells in vitro. Also, a recent study by Fahey et al. found that during chronic LCMV infection Memory CD4+ T cells enhance early innate immune responding CD4+ T cells progressively adopt a functional responses following viral infection. Memory CD4+ TFH cell pheno­ ype125. That CD4+ T cells may retain spe- t T cell-mediated recognition of antigens presented by cific functions during chronic infection helps to explain APCs following re-infection has rapid consequences. earlier observations that persistent LCMV infection is Within 48 hours of intranasal infection with influenza eventually cleared through mechanisms that are depend- virus, antigen-specific memory CD4+ T cells cause an ent on CD4+ T cells (BOX 2). For instance, interactions enhanced inflammatory response in the lung, and this between exhausted CD8+ T cells and CD4+ T cells may is characterized by the upregulation of a wide array restore CD8+ T cell function during chronic infection of pro-inflammatory mediators132 (FIG. 4). In infected with LCMV126. These findings and others (reviewed in tissues, transferred TH1‑type and TH17‑type memory REFS 127,128) have important implications for the design cells, as well as memory CD4 + T cells generated by of vaccines against viruses that cause chronic infection previous infections, upregulate the expression of pro- in humans (such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C). inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including Box 3 | Tissue-resident memory T cells Following the resolution of primary immune responses, most effector T cells die by apoptosis, leaving behind a small population of long-lived memory cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that, in addition to recirculating through lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues, some memory cells reside at sites of infection. Although most of these studies have concentrated on CD8+ T cell memory, CD4+ T cells also appear to survive for long periods in peripheral tissues163,164. Often, the expression of distinct surface proteins distinguishes tissue-specific memory cells from conventional lymphoid memory populations. These molecules are likely to have a crucial role in the retention of memory T cells at different sites through specific interactions with ligands that are expressed in particular tissues. For example, the expression of α1β1 integrin (also known as VLA1) by airway-resident memory CD4+ T cells in the lungs can facilitate binding to collagen164, and high levels of CD103 expression by brain- or skin-resident memory CD8+ T cells facilitates their interaction with cells that express E‑cadherin165,166. Tissue-resident memory T cells act as a first line of defence. Combined with the ability of memory T cells, but not naive T cells, to be activated through the recognition of antigens in peripheral tissues132,167, the location of memory CD4+ T cell populations at potential sites of re-infection represents a powerful advantage of the memory state over the naive state, in which a lag of several days precedes the influx of antigen-specific cells into infected sites. Tissue-resident memory cells may facilitate more-rapid recruitment and activation of innate cell populations that are capable of controlling initial viral titres. Moreover, these memory cells may simultaneously accelerate the development of pathogen-specific effector populations of B and T cells by promoting the earlier activation of antigen-presenting cells. Elucidating the important cues that drive the development of long-lived tissue-resident memory cells is likely to become an important area of research, especially as this understanding may lead to the design of improved vaccination strategies.NATURE REVIEWS | IMMUNOLOGY VOLUME 12 | FEBRUARY 2012 | 143 © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
  • REVIEWS IL‑1α, IL‑1β, IL‑6, IL‑12p40, CC-chemokine ligand 2 in the upregulation of MHC class II and co-stimulatory (CCL2), CXC-chemokine ligand  9 (CXCL9) and molecule expression by the APCs. Activated APCs con- CXCL10. By contrast, TH2‑type and non-polarized tribute to the subsequent innate inflammatory response (T H0) memory T  cells have a minimal impact on through the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, pulmonary inflammation following influenza virus such as IL‑6 and IL‑1β. By contrast, the naive CD4+ challenge. To induce innate inflammatory responses, T cell response in vivo does not have an appreciable memory CD4 + T cells must recognize antigens on impact on the tissue inflammatory response at 48 hours CD11c+ APCs. These APCs become activated during post-infection132. In other studies, naive CD4+ T cells interactions with memory CD4+ T cells, and this results could actually downregulate tissue inflammation fol- lowing mouse hepatitis virus infection133. The ability of TH1‑type and TH17‑type memory CD4+ T cells, buta PRR-driven antiviral response not TH2‑type or non-polarized memory T cells, to pro- Virus mote an early inflammatory response may help to explain TLR2 why transfer of virus-specific TH1 and TH17 effector cells, but not transfer of TH2 or non-polarized T cells, pro- Early motes early control of viral loads in mice infected with TLR4 inflammation influenza virus16,86,132. A similar impact of memory CD4+ MHC T cells on early viral control during secondary influenza class II Virus-derived Viral load nucleic acid infection was recently reported by Chapman et al.134, Duration of and this also correlated with a dramatic enhancement Endolysosome TLR6 infection of innate immune responses against the virus. However, MHC class II, CD40 and this effect has not yet been studied in other models of TLR3 TLR9 CD86 upregulation viral infection. TLR7 Magnitude We suggest that the early activation of innate immune mechanisms by memory CD4+ T cells serves to lessen the ‘stealth phase’ of infection, during which titres of the virus are still too low to generate robust inflammatory responses135. This would prevent viruses from gaining ab Memory CD4+ T cell-driven antiviral response ‘foothold’ in the host by infecting and replicating in cells Virus at a level that is below immune detection. Importantly, the induction of early innate immune responses by Early inflammation CD80 or memory CD4+ T cells does not require PRR activa- CD86 tion132 and could therefore be important for enhancing Viral load CD28 protection against viral pathogens — such as vaccinia Memory Duration of virus and influenza virus — that can actively antagonize TCR CD4+ T cell infection key components of innate recognition pathways, such as Virus- MHC class II, CD40 and dsRNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR)136. MHC derived CD86 upregulation One intriguing finding is that memory CD4+ T cells class II peptide Magnitude specific for ovalbumin enhance antiviral immunity when ovalbumin is co-administered with an influenza virus Key signals delivered to DC that does not express ovalbumin132. Thus, we hypoth- by CD4+ T cell are unclear esize that the induction of innate immune responses by memory CD4+ T cells could have an adjuvant effect,Figure 4 | Activation of APCs through PRRs and through the recognition of which could be exploited (and substituted for PRR stim- Nature Reviews | Immunologyantigens by memory CD4+ T cells. a | Several classes of pattern-recognition receptors ulation132) to promote immune responses to vaccines(PRRs), such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs), sense the presence of viral pathogens, and the that do not contain live viruses. For example, a vaccinetriggering of these receptors leads to the activation of antigen-presenting cells (APCs),including dendritic cells (DCs). Activated APCs upregulate their expression of MHC could activate the innate immune system throughmolecules and co-stimulatory molecules, which are important for the priming of naive antigen-specific stimulation of memory CD4+ T cellsvirus-specific T cells. Triggering of PRRs at the site of infection induces local that are known to be widespread in the human popula-inflammation, which involves the activation of several populations of innate immune tion (for example, most individuals have memory CD4+cells that can control viral titres and establish chemokine gradients to attract further T cells specific for tetanus toxin). This method couldantiviral effector cells. The efficiency of PRR triggering can determine whether viral possibly enhance the immunogenicity of ‘weak’ vaccines.replication or protective immunity gains the upper hand. b | Virus-specific memory CD4+T cells can directly activate DCs through the recognition of antigens presented by MHC Heterologous memory responses. Heterologous viralclass II molecules, even in the absence of co-stimulation delivered via PRR-mediated immunity occurs when memory T cells that were gen-signalling. The crucial signals delivered by memory CD4+ T cells to DCs in this process are erated in response to a particular virus cross-react withunclear and could involve both cell-surface interactions and cytokine signals. Theoutcome of DC activation and the initiation of inflammatory responses are similar epitopes expressed by other, unrelated viruses. It haswhether triggered through PRRs or memory CD4+ T cells but, in situations of infection recently become clear that this is quite a widespreadwith a rapidly replicating virus (such as influenza virus), memory CD4+ T cell-mediated phenomenon that is likely to be important in theenhancement of innate immunity is substantially quicker and more effective than that human population, as humans are exposed to numer-provided by PRR triggering. TCR, T cell receptor. ous antigens as a result of infection and vaccination137.144 | FEBRUARY 2012 | VOLUME 12 www.nature.com/reviews/immunol © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
  • REVIEWS Although heterologous immune responses can be on CD4+ T cell-mediated help when PRR stimulation protective, they may in some cases be deleterious and is limited suggests that CD4+ T cell-mediated help will can result in dramatic immunopathology 138. It will be be of particular importance in achieving optimal CD8+ important to determine to what extent the ability of T cell memory responses with vaccines that do not memory CD4+ T cells to induce innate immunity con- contain live, replication-competent viruses. tributes to both beneficial and deleterious heterologous Finally, we should point out that the impact of responses. memory CD4 + T cells on the early innate immune response may also affect subsequent antigen-specific Helper functions of memory CD4+ T cells. Several stud- immune responses against viruses, owing to altera- ies indicate that memory CD4 + T cells are superior tions in the expression of chemokines. For example, to naive T cells in providing help for B cells, and they by upregulating local production of CC-chemokine have been shown to promote earlier B cell prolifera- receptor 5 (CCR5) ligands at the site of infection, tion, higher antibody levels and earlier class-switching memory CD4+ T cells can promote the recruitment responses compared with naive CD4+ T cells139–141. In of memory CD8+ T cells that contribute to early viral many cases, when pre-existing circulating antibodies control in influenza virus infection149. In HSV‑2 infec- are able to recognize the virus, re-infection may never tion, IFNγ expression by CD4+ T cells is required to occur. Faster antibody production could be particu- induce chemokines that recruit effector CD8+ T cells larly important after re-infection with rapidly mutat- to the infected vaginal tissue150. Similar roles for CD4+ ing viruses (such as influenza virus), as the generation T cells in promoting CD8 + T cell recruitment may of neutralizing antibodies specific for new variants occur during infections with other viruses, although that evade previously generated antibodies could be it is often difficult to separate the roles of CD4+ T cells necessary for immunity. in generating effector CD8+ T cells from their roles in That memory CD4+ T cells are superior helpers modifying CD8+ T cell trafficking 39,85,151. for B cells compared with naive T cells is suggested by multiple criteria, and many mechanisms may con- Secondary effector T cells tribute. Memory CD4 + T  cells contain preformed The presence of memory CD4+ T cells that are capable of stores of CD40L, an important signal in CD4+ T cell- producing multiple cytokines has been correlated with mediated help for antibody production142. The location superior protective capacity in numerous studies152, of memory CD4+ T cells may also be an advantage. For but how such cells achieve enhanced protection has example, antigen-specific memory CD4+ T cells with a not been addressed. One possibility is that ‘secondary’ TFH cell phenotype are retained in the draining lymph effector CD4+ T cells that arise from memory precur- nodes of mice for over 6 months following immuni- sors may be much more efficient in directly combating zation143. The increased levels and polarized profile of pathogens than primary effector CD4+ T cells that arise cytokines produced by memory CD4+ T cells, as com- from naive cells. Our recent experiments that directly pared with those of naive T cells, is likely to promote a compared such primary and secondary effectors during more-robust B cell antibody response and to dictate the influenza virus infection support such a view (T.M.S., antibody isotype, which has a key role in the efficacy K.K.M., L. M. Bradley and S.L.S., unpublished obser- of antibodies specific for viruses such Ebola virus144, vations). We found that following adoptive transfer of WNV145 and influenza virus146. Recent observations either antigen-specific memory CD4+ T cells or an equal suggest that IL‑4 and IFNγ produced by TFH cells have number of antigen-specific naive CD4+ T cell pre­cursors, a central role in driving not only immunoglobulin class the secondary effector populations that developed from switching in the germinal centre, but also B cell affinity the memory CD4+ T cells showed greater expansion maturation147. and contained higher frequencies of T cells that secrete Whether memory CD4+ T cells are superior to naive multiple cytokines. Furthermore, although high levels of CD4+ T cells at providing help for primary or second- IL‑10 were produced by primary effector CD4+ T cells ary CD8+ T cell responses during viral infection has not during influenza virus infection, secondary effector been rigorously tested. However, the features of memory cells produced much less IL‑10. Thus, memory CD4+ cells described here suggest that memory CD4+ T cells T cells seem to give rise to secondary effector T cells could promote an accelerated response by naive CD8+ that are distinct from and superior to the primary effec- T cells, both through more-rapid licensing of APCs tors derived from naive CD4+ T cells. We suggest that and through faster and more-robust production of this results in more-protective recall responses, and we IL‑2 and possibly other cytokines; these possibilities predict that further functions of secondary effectors need to be explored. In support of this concept, a study will be discovered as additional comparative analyses using Listeria monocytogenes found that TH1‑type but are carried out. not TH2‑type memory CD4+ T cells enhanced primary CD8+ T cell responses in terms of both magnitude and Summary cytokine production, although the mechanism of mem- Here, we have reviewed how CD4+ T cells contribute ory CD4+ T cell-mediated help was not determined148. to protective immunity to viruses, during both pri- Whatever the pathways involved, the fact that memory mary and secondary infections. Several key principles CD4+ T cells enhance the generation of CD8 + T cell emerge. Distinct CD4+ T cells subsets — including TH1 memory and that this process has a greater dependence cells, TH17 cells, TFH cells and CD4+ T cells with cytotoxicNATURE REVIEWS | IMMUNOLOGY VOLUME 12 | FEBRUARY 2012 | 145 © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
  • REVIEWS functions — have important roles in the antiviral The picture that emerges is one in which CD4+ T cells response. Key among these roles is the provision of help carry out an impressive variety of functions at differ- to B cells, but CD4+ T cells also contribute to the antiviral ent times and in different sites, and we suggest that the response by producing cytokines and chemokines, by synergy of these distinct mechanisms can provide an enhancing CD8+ T cells responses and through direct extraordinarily high level of viral control. Depending on cytotoxic effects on virus-infected cells. the particular pathogen and the level of infection, these Memory CD4+ T cells have additional protective mechanisms may often be redundant, but they are likely to functions compared with naive cells. They induce early each make key contributions following exposure to high innate inflammatory responses in the tissue that con- doses of rapidly replicating viruses or to viruses that have tribute to viral control. Importantly, memory CD4+ evolved mechanisms to evade specific immune pathways. T cells provide more-rapid help to B cells, and prob- We point out that the study of the immune response to ably to CD8+ T cells, thereby contributing to a faster viral infections has revealed new mechanisms by which and more-robust antiviral immune response. Finally, CD4+ T cells function to protect against pathogens, and secondary effectors derived from memory CD4+ T cell we predict that additional mechanisms will be identi- precursors are likely to be more capable of mediating fied in the future. 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